Around the Nation (April 29): Wizards oust Bulls from NBA playoffs

Associated Press Published:

Associated Press

BASKETBALL

Wizards eliminate Bulls with 75-69 victory in Game 5

CHICAGO — John Wall finished with 24 points, Nene scored 20, and the Washington Wizards beat the Chicago Bulls 75-69 on Tuesday night to clinch their first-round series in five games.

Bradley Beal scored 17 points, and the fifth-seeded Wizards advanced in the postseason for just the third time since the 1970s. They will meet Indiana or Atlanta in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

It’s a huge step for a franchise that hadn’t been to the postseason since 2008, but with Wall and Beal leading the way, they won 44 games during the regular season.

The Wizards turned a halftime tie into a nine-point lead heading into the fourth quarter and hung on down the stretch.

Chicago’s comeback chances took a big hit early in the final quarter when Taj Gibson crumbled to the court clutching his left ankle after he tried to block a layup by Wall with the Wizards up by six points. He had to be helped off the court and did not return.

Report: Warriors assistant fired for recordings

LOS ANGELES — A former assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors reportedly recorded conversations of coaches and players without their knowledge before being fired by the team earlier this month.

ESPN, citing anonymous sources, reported Tuesday that Darren Erman secretly recorded coaches’ meetings, conversations between coaches and players, and informal discussions. It’s unclear what Erman did with the alleged recordings.

Golden State fired Erman on April 5 for what the team called a “violation of company policy.” The Warriors neither confirmed nor denied the report Tuesday, saying only that they “were unaware of the violation, and when made aware, we took immediate action.”

AUTO RACING

NASCAR penalizes Ambrose and Mears for RIR fight

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR has punished Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears for their post-race altercation in the garage at Richmond International Raceway.

Ambrose was fined $25,000 on Tuesday and placed on probation through May 28. Mears was fined $15,000 and received the same probation.

NASCAR said in a statement both drivers were penalized for actions detrimental to stock car racing, and received a “Behavioral Penalty” because they were “involved in an altercation in the garage area after the race.”

The two had been racing for a top-20 finish Saturday night when something occurred on the track to anger Mears. He confronted Ambrose in the garage area after the race, and shoved the Australian as Ambrose seemed to be walking away.

Ambrose responded with a right hook to Mears’ eye that drew blood.

BASEBALL

A’s Griffin to have season-ending elbow surgery

ARLINGTON, Texas — Athletics right-hander A.J. Griffin is scheduled to have elbow surgery Wednesday, and will miss the entire season with fellow starter Jarrod Parker.

Oakland manager Bob Melvin announced the plan for Griffin’s surgery on Tuesday, after the pitcher got a second opinion from Dr. Thomas Mehlhoff in Houston.

Parker had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow during spring training. Parker, who had been expected to be Oakland’s opening day starter, and Griffin combined for 26 victories last season.

Melvin says losing two players like that for the season is “a difficult blow.”

Griffin was 14-10 with a 3.83 ERA last season after making his major league debut in 2012 going 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 15 starts for the A’s.

Mariners’ Cano booed in return to Yankee Stadium

NEW YORK — Robinson Cano has drawn loud boos in his first at-bat at Yankee Stadium since signing a $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners last winter.

Cano had a big smile when he came to bat in the first inning Tuesday night. The sparse crowd responded with a Bronx cheer.

The five-time All-Star gave a wink to New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia before settling into the batter’s box. He struck out swinging and the fans mocked him with cheers.

When Cano took his position at second base, the Bleacher Creatures didn’t chant his name, as they did for nine years. Instead, they shouted: “You sold out!”

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